Keighley 32

Bridlington 27

KEIGHLEY edged an exciting Yorkshire Division One game between two well-matched teams.

Keighley, playing a high risk style of rugby, in the end deserved their victory.

After a brisk start both teams were guilty of forcing moves that resulted in basic handling errors.

Eventually concerted Keighley pressure up front led to a penalty, well converted by full-back Olly Mitchell.

Bridlington, with their big second row Wiremu Cookson causing problems, put Keighley under pressure, the defence held out.

Eventually, outside half Grayson Tihema made a scintillating break from his own 22, only stopped just short of the line.

At the resulting scrum number eight Will McClaughlin picked up and stepped inside to score.

Brid, stung into action, chose the direct route using their bigger forwards to drive play up the middle.

Keighley, used to this approach, held them out, only to concede a penalty, converted by outside half Josh Stanyon.

Keighley returned to their free flowing approach. Some good play from the backs forced a penalty in a kickable position. Much to the consternation of the spectators they chose a kick to the corner.

Unfortunately their misplaced confidence did not pay dividends, Brid stole the lineout ball and cleared their lines.

At the stroke of half time an error dealing with a kick gave Brid’s outstanding forward Cookson the chance to run at a weak defence to score under the posts, converted by Stanyon.

The second half started well for Keighley, Olly Mitchell landed a penalty. Once again Brid attacked only to lose the ball in the Keighley half.

Slick play from Tihema found full-back Mitchell in space. Showing a turn of pace he ran 60 yards, drawing the last defender he slipped the ball inside to centre Rich Tillotson who scored, Mitchell added the conversion.

Once again Brid pressured and a lineout ball was driven over the line, the try claimed by number eight James Thompson.

With only three points the difference in the scoreline Keighley probed, some top notch handling at pace gave Matty Langstaff the chance to break free, an inside pass was duly delivered to supporting player Tihema who dived over, Mitchell added the extra points.

Although Keighley were in the ascendency gaining good possession and field position, Brid refused to fade away and a superb break out of defence by their full-back found the forwards in support and another try for second row Cookson, converted by Stanyon. Keighley, too often unable to clear their lines well enough, put themselves under pressure, only stalwart defence kept the opposition at bay.

Eventually Keighley through more judicious play gained a line out in the Brid 22, some accurate driving play from the forwards was finished off by abrasive wing forward Lucas Uren, conversion by Mitchell.

With full time only minutes away, Keighley were unable to maintain possession and some tired defending allowed Brid winger Oliver the chance of a long run in to score in the corner.

The final whistle finished an exciting entertaining game, the result of which could have gone either way.

Keighley's fourth victory from their opening 10 league games of the season sees them in 11th place (fourth-from-bottom) on 19 points. They travel to third-placed Beverley on Saturday.